November already – we keep looking to the southern Alps for signs of snow but there is scant evidence to date. It would seem that the mountain bike lifts are closed and the ski lifts not yet open – where to go, what to do – go south with your mountain bike.
We want to draw attention to the 2010 Cape Epic – a mountain bike extreme that is held in South Africa. The race organisers are www.cape-epic.com .
The race takes place every year around the last week of March and the first week of April and is held over 8 days and includes a time-trial prologue. The route changes every year, and leads aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through approximately 800 kilometres of the unspoilt nature of the Western Cape and up approximately 16 000m of climbing over some of the most magnificent passes in South Africa.’
Entry costs about 2,300 euros or 3,300 US dollars per team which must consist of two people, so you have mens, ladies and mixed teams and generously the race organisers allow the title ‘master’ to their over 40s class!
As well as the very professional side to this race – it is UCI recognised, qualifies for UCI points and prize money is raced for – there is an underlying tone that the race should be fun for all the competitors – be they Billy the Whizz or Take it Ezzeeee characters riding for charity (another way to gain entry) – tented accommodation is provided and entertainment laid on at each of the night stops.
The first video from freesporttv shows the very tough first stage up Table Mountain above Cape Town in the 2009 race. As you will see it is not for the faint hearted.
The 2010 race runs from March 21st to March 28th when more than 600 teams from around the world will take on the Cape Epic, with main sponsors ABSA and adidas continuing with their support and significant TV coverage around the world, there will be many who will witness what has fast become one of the premiere annual mountain bike races.
The YouTube footage below is from 2009absacapeepic and shows some great action from stage 5 of this years race from Greyton to Oak Valley. If this one is for you you will need to plan well in advance – there is a long waiting list but you will only regret it if you do not try.